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The Razing

average rating is 2 out of 5


Alasdair MacRae


Posted on:

Sep 20, 2022

Film Reviews
The Razing
Directed by:
J. Arcane, Paul Erskine
Written by:
J. Arcane
Jack Wooton, Mia Heavner, Logan Paul Price, Carson Marquette

A group meets for a special dinner party honouring a pact made several years prior. Two of the four bring dates, although perhaps they shouldn’t have. As they indulge in psychoactive drugs they begin to live out past trauma with perilous consequences.


We are introduced to the main cast of characters as they are gathered for dinner in one of their homes. Around the table, we find Ray (Logan Paul Price), Lincoln (Nicholas Tene), and Ellen (Laura Sampson Hemingway), and Ray and Lincoln’s dates, Clare (Mia Heavner) and Milo (Dawson Mullen), who are all supposedly here for Corey’s (Jack Wooton) Birthday, although given the feeling in the room it is apparent that this is not a celebration. Despite the fact that there are two outsiders to the group poised to give the audience a focal point, they largely function to showcase the surface-level cruelty, and dismissive arrogance of its members rather than gain any real insight. During dinner, one of the outsiders, Milo, tells a harrowing story he heard of a young girl witnessing her mother turn to ashes in her distraught father’s arms. The closed-off world of the dinner party makes it feel like perhaps the end of the world has begun, but it is hand-waved by Corey. Instead, he is more interested in his own self-serving agenda and belittling everyone. After dinner, the group splinters off and couple up in different rooms. As they begin to offer each other vials of drugs in varying strengths, colour coded from blue to white to red, they explore trauma and long withheld feelings that had been lingering just below the surface.


Set at night and constructed almost entirely in the one house, the colour palette is a mix of brown, gold, and beige that frequently melts into abstraction as the scenes shift between characters and timelines. The narrative structure moves in and out of focus as frequently as the camera does, constantly on the move, it can only be described as obtuse. Lynch is a clear inspiration here, but even though his characters may have their strange rhythms they still retain some beautiful universal truth. The group in The Razing however, are too far removed. By the time it passes the hour mark and the tired platitudes ramp up it becomes clear that the film is going to remain frustratingly impenetrable. And when the film does eventually reveal what ties its characters together it feels ultimately underwhelming considering the shy, meandering build-up.


What does feel clear is the mood board directors J. Arcane and Paul Erskine put together for the film. Lynch aside, there is Steven King, in jumping back and forward between the high school-age characters and them some ten to twenty years on, Succession, in the obnoxious self-righteous characters and the sombre piano melody, and perhaps some Von Trier in the overall construction of the narrative, a tortured small cast of characters building to a grand conceptual crescendo. But as great as that all sounds, none of it can quite come together in the moment.


Style over substance is a term that has often been thrown around too candidly, but it is applicable here. Too obtuse for its own good, The Razing is a slow-burn mystery that takes too long to heat up and ultimately fizzles out long before its conclusion.

About the Film Critic
Alasdair MacRae
Alasdair MacRae
Digital / DVD Release, Indie Feature Film
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